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Limits of Loyalty is an educational program developed by NYADP and Schenectady’s Community Empowerment Partnership. The program brings powerful age-appropriate intervention into public middle and high schools in the most disadvantaged sections of the greater Capital Region (Albany,Schenectady and surrounding counties) to help youth break free from cycles of violence and situations where they feel trapped and powerless in the face of peer pressre.
The program presenters are area residents, who have either had a family member murdered, have themselves been shot, are victims of sexual or physical violence, or are former gang members. The panelists' goal is to convince young people that what they think of as loyalty -- to a family member involved in drug dealing, to a gang dispensing justice through murder, or to a neighborhood that accepts violence as part of its identity -- is, in fact, condoning and even abetting crime and violence.
At the end of each presentation, there is a rush of students eager to ask questions and to talk to the panelists. Limits of Loyalty provides an opportunity for young people to have a voice, to connect with like-minded people and to begin to build community.
There is great interest in expanding Limits of Loyalty so that youth who hear the program are directed to service providers who can address their specific needs. Whether these are employment skills, tutoring, therapies of various kinds, or other care, Limits of Loyalty can reach these youth and facilitate an impact on their lives and their communities.